It was Saturday, April 29 of this year and at 7:30 a.m. I met six sportsmen clients from Chicago, Illinois at the dock. Before meeting with my crew I purchased about four hundred minnows and a flat of worms. My original plan was to try to jig fish with minnows for the walleye, but in the back of my mind I also wanted to try some casting with weight- forward lures (Sluggo’s lures). Everyone introduced themselves and we left the dock to go jig fishing. It took about thirty minutes to break the reef area and here I decided to drop anchor in seven-foot deep water. After approximately two hours of fishing, we had thirty nice male walleye averaging two to five pounds each. After another hour we netted three more. The fish stopped hitting on the jigs so I decided to make my move and try something different. I hauled up the anchor, and moved on to deeper water, approximately fifteen feet and decided to do some drifting and put on some weight-forward lures (Sluggo’s lures). Within an hour we had caught our limit. After a very successful day, I knew I was fishing with some good fishermen, which would make our trip on Sunday even easier. I was extremely pleased with the days catch and my customers were happy, a satisfying combination for any captain. Incidentally, the majority of the catch were male walleyes. Arriving back at the dock we hung the fish so we could take some pictures. It was a nice catch for the day. Five of my clients returned to the room to clean up while Steve and I went to have the fish cleaned. When Steve and I arrived at the location where I had the clients’ fish cleaned we were surprised by an almost unbelievable catch by another captain and his clientele. Sitting in front of us were forty-two walleyes weighing about one hundred ninety pounds. Our catch weighed in at about 100 pounds. At that point I made the decision we would go out after the big ones. I made a few phone calls to several captains to verify the area where I felt I knew the big ones would be. I remember Steve remarking that tomorrow we would get bigger ones, at the time I thought he was joking.
The following day our departure from the dock was 7:15 a.m. And we were headed for the area where I felt the big ones would be waiting. We arrived about fifty-five minutes later at the location where I wanted to start. The depth of the water at this spot was about forty-eight feet. We began casting using Sluggo’s weight-forward lures and Sluggo’s drifting rigs for drift fishing. Within five minutes we had a five-pound, twenty-five and one half inch male on the line. Now I knew where the big ones were. We began working on a nice steady paced catch, not too fast, not too slow, just enough to keep our interest. We were catching some nice female walleye that had released all their eggs. This day of fishing had come to the perfect end. My clients as well as myself had obtained our limit, which totaled two hundred twenty five pounds, ranging from twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven and one half and twenty-eight and one half inches, we were averaging three to four walleyes a drift. Three fish between twenty eight and one half inches long, ten fish between twenty seven and twenty seven and one half inches long. The balance of our catch were between twenty-four and twenty six inches long. All of this in seven hours of fishing! That is why Lake Erie should be called “ Walleye Capital of the Universe”. Just for the record, the clients had nine “Sluggo's Charter Service”, walleye mounted.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Captain Eddie Volan or “ Sluggo” as I am known to my customers and friends. This story is not about me, it is about walleye fishing and the phrase “Walleye Capital of the World. In my opinion, this phrase does not do Lake Erie justice, it should be rewritten, “Walleye Capital of the Universe.” Thousands of people come to the lake every weekend and catch their limit of walleye. There are also thousands of people who rely on walleye fishing for their living. Still, these fish continue to breed and mature to trophy size, truly Mother Nature working overtime. Charter captains and sportsmen begin fishing in the early days of March all the way through the end of November.